15 Spaces with Stunning Architectural Features

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I’m glad to see that there is a revival happening in newer, custom-built homes to bring more character and personality into the living spaces. The bare-bones, builder-grade standard that the U.S. has adapted over the last 50 years is lacking in areas where there could instead be something special.

Moldings, decorative ceilings, arching doorways, unique fireplaces and other architectural touches give hints about when the home was built, what style or designer influenced it, and even the person who first lived there. A Spanish home from the 1920s, for instance, will probably include rounded doorways and fireplaces in stucco, and a neoclassical house might have columns in the great room. These design elements that tell a home’s story are beautiful, stately and anything but boring — and we can’t get enough of them. Click through the gallery to find 15 homes that understand this concept: design is in the details. –Lauren


  1. Adrienne says:

    I love these. # 8 is my fav

  2. Hal says:

    #5 is such a great work space. I love the crown molding and window details in 3,4,8 and 13. The tie dye wall is so fresh as well.
    -Hal @ madcapprince.com

  3. Bobbie says:

    Hi I looked for a different place to make this comment in the contact section and did not find one. I just wanted to say that I have been coming to Designsponge less and less, to the point that I practically am never here. I am so sad to say this because design sponge was my first and always has been my very favorite blog on the internet! I have always loved it and still do except for one thing which is the one reason I dont come. Since you made your major change in design it is very slow. I know I have slightly slower than average connection speed and maybe it is not a problem for anyone else, but for me as much as I have tried to come here in spite of the issue I am now almost never stopping by. It is so sad for me. I dont know if anyone else has this issue, but I realized I did not want to just disappear without saying why. Please feel free to remove this post, I know it isnt really the right place for it.
    take care!

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      I’m sorry you’re having that problem- that shouldn’t be happening. Our load time is actually the fastest it’s ever been. My hunch is that there’s a local browser issue or perhaps an ad blocking or loading problem. Could you tell me what browser you’re viewing on and what version- and what your load time is for the main page? All our tests indicate less than 3 seconds for the full site on even the older versions of most browsers.


  4. Carrie says:

    Love the “hanging boots” in #1!!!

  5. Sara says:

    I love this details. Morgane’s Parisian house brings me a lot of the inspiration Boca do Lobo uses in its design.

  6. Alexandra says:

    I love your posts. Always with great design. Thank you for inspiration!

  7. Bau Outdoors says:

    Really lovely to see paneled walls becoming more popular. Love number 5. I think paneling, plus a low sheen, dark pain make for a lovely grounded look.

  8. Denise says:

    Decor Aid is a big fan of the return of paneling (but in the ways DesignSponge is showing!) Congrats!


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